12 Questions With: Mediah
As long as I’m alive I’ll keep pushing and creating the best work I can. – Mediah
1. How long have you been painting/writing in Toronto? What keeps you here? I’ve been actively writing graf in Toronto since 1994. I’m still here in Toronto because circumstances haven’t allowed for me to leave….YET. Toronto is crazy culturally diverse so there’s good food here. 2. Is there a particular city that really interests you art-wise? Based on what you’ve seen produced from there. Yeah, I’m really liking the stuff coming out of Brighton, England and Copenhagen at the moment. There is a lot of really innovative work coming from these cities that really excites me. Europe in general has some amazing artists that I really admire and look up to. 3. Your latest exhibit, Decimals Rebuilt, showcased a full range of your talent – are you more inclined to keep your focus on exhibitions instead of street art? At moment yes. My inspiration has been shifting from graffiti to multidisciplinary art, mixing painting with graphic design and New media. Graffiti is and always will be the creative foundation of my artwork…even if and when I evolve past the ‘traditional definition’ 4. Was there a specific moment or time you can remember when graffiti sparked your interest? Was there a writer who really inspired you? 1994. I used to take the RT from North east of the City to Downtown and vice versa and at that time graf culture was still really raw and a subculture in Toronto. At the time the Scarborough RT line was a ‘toppa top’ hall of fame in Toronto. There was no internet graffiti or books to learn from and there was only one store in the City to buy caps from. Back then writers like HOPE, SADY, ALONE, RECKA, DASER and DURO3 were heavily influential. 5. Do you have a dream piece you wish you could produce? Any large-scale high budget projects you’re dying to accomplish? YES. I want to create a large-scale environment that uses 6 corners of seamless holographic projection. The projected artwork would tell an epic story while the viewer walks around and interacts with the environment. It would be comprised of painted elements and digital elements of various types. Imagine an ultra IMAX 3D movie that happens around you. 6. I really enjoy your collaborative work, your style is so unique in comparison to a lot of writers, do you have any favourites you love to work with? I really like to work with EVOKE, HUNTO (Italy), LI-HILL, RECKA, ELICSER, MOZIE and SOHOE. I really like the work of EKWAL and a few others whom I haven’t yet painted with. 7. If you could paint in any city (all consequence aside) where would you go? I would love to paint in lots of cities but Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Tokyo (Japan) have to be the top three. 8. Your work touches on a lot of mechanical, technological thoughts – was there ever a separation between your digital work and your graffiti? There used to be a separation because I would limit myself to either one or the other. As time progressed my art began to blur the lines between the two…to the point now where its very difficult to separate one from the other. It’s all from the same spiritual inspiration now. Graf definitely influences my Motion design and animation work while digital media 100% influences my graf. It’s getting rather intense. 9. How did you come up with “Mediah”? MEDIAH is just ‘Media’ with an H. I can do graffiti with any medium and any media, so MEDIA was fitting for me. Most of the biblical prophets have IAH on the end of their names (Jeremiah, Zechariah, Nehemiah) so IAH + MEDIA = MEDIAH. 10. Top 5 writers (any city, any time period): Dare (Basel), Swet (Copenhagen), Delta (Amsterdam), Mist (France), Brok (France) 11. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in style or attitude in other writers over the years? Mostly in attitude. The writers that are coming up today don’t seem to be as ‘plugged in’ to the culture like we were when we were coming up. There’s a real entitlement in the attitude of the young writers now that wasn’t there before. We all knew that we needed to pay our dues coming up but it seems like the rules have changed. Style wise people have been breaking out of the ‘outline, fill and 3d’ traditional style and exploring more textured ‘life-like’ styles. Its pretty exciting to see what writers are coming up with nowadays. 12. Anything you’d like to tell the readers of 12oz about Mediah? Any upcoming shows or works? I have some crazy plans for DECIMALS REBUILT in the coming years. The first plan is to bring the project to other cities and countries with new animated components that will be stereoscopic (projected in 3D) with even more interactivity with the gallery space. I want to start de-constructing viewers to an even greater degree by creating unusual imagery that touches people on a spiritual level (if possible). I’m working on a full-scale DECIMALS REBUILT book with the first part of the story of the DENARY. This will be fully illustrated and will include media (either a DVD or a USB for read along interactivity) and will connect to the future exhibitions in some way. Look for this in 2014 sometime. Check out IAHDigitial to see my latest works.
Author: Ro Sabourin / @rosabourin